The most important thing to remember about both diet and exercise is to always listen to your body. There is no one meal and no one form of exercise that is best for everyone. So when it comes to before and after workout meals, there are guidelines that can be followed, but your ultimate best course of action is to speak with your trainer or a fitness nutritionist at your club to get their recommendations on the body fuel that is best for you in relation to the amount of exercise you are doing. Whether you’re working out to lose weight or to maintain and build muscle, read on to discover some of the best ways to fuel your body the smart way.
Meal planning is a great way to ensure that you’re prepared for each meal and don’t find yourself raiding the fridge after you get back from the gym. Like most things in life, you do better at what you plan for. Study for a test and you’ll get a better grade, bring an umbrella when there’s a chance for rain and you’ll stay dry, plan out your weekly meals and see better fitness results!
Grocery lists have to be a make-it-or-break-it part of your meal planning. Don’t go to the grocery store hungry, it will increase your likelihood of grabbing junk foods and indulging in impulse buys. Plan out meals featuring lean proteins like eggs, fish, and chicken. Add in lower-starch carbohydrates like spinach, broccoli, and asparagus then add in higher-starch carbs like sweet potatoes and bananas.
Guidelines for what to eat before a workout:
- Low fat
- Moderate in protein and carbs
- Includes fluids*
- Not including new flavors or foods that upset your stomach
*Fluids are an integral part of any effective workout. Water helps to cool down your body, by getting dehydrated you lose the ability to regulate your body’s temperature.
Guidelines for what to eat after a workout:
- A complete protein (like eggs) to promote muscle growth and recovery
- A nutrient-rich carbohydrate
- A healthy fat (like avocado)
- A fluid with antioxidants or energy boosters*
*If you’re exercising to lose weight, stick with water or choose a sports drink or juice that is low in sugar.
What meals have you found are best to power you through a workout or to refuel you after? We would love it if you shared your favorites with us on social media too using #myzonemoves or #effortrewarded.